Colorado Legislative Council Staff
NO FISCAL IMPACT
February 1, 1998
Will Meyer (866-4976)
TITLE: CONCERNING THE AUGMENTATION OF CIVIL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF THE COLORADO EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LAWS.
Summary of Assessment
The provisions of this bill would make remedies under Colorado employment discrimination laws equivalent to those available under federal law. It would do so by providing that, in cases of unlawful intentional employment discrimination, a complainant may recover reasonable attorney fees, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. The bill also would permit complaining parties to have jury trials in discrimination cases filed in state courts. The bill would become effective upon signature of the Governor and would apply to actions brought on or after that date.
The bill would allow the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to order punitive damages (the same as those available under federal laws) against nongovernmental agencies; if the complainant demonstrated that the respondent engaged in a discriminatory practice or practices with malice or reckless indifference to the statutorily protected rights of an aggrieved individual. It is assumed that this would result in fewer cases seeking “the right to sue” from the commission and going to court. Any additional cases that were filed in state court would affect the workload of the Judicial Branch.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission assumes that the total number of cases that would be filed with the commission would not change. However, the commission’s hearings workload would increase. Any increases in the Colorado Civil Rights Commission hearings workload, including investigation costs, would be absorbed within their existing spending authority. It is assumed that any increase in the workload of the Judicial Branch would be minimal and could be absorbed. The provisions of the bill would not impact any other agency of the state, or unit of local government. Therefore, this bill is assessed as having no fiscal impact.
Regulatory Agencies Judicial Branch